Universal Credit UK: Are you eligible for alternative payment arrangements? Check now

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Universal Credit pays out a certain amount each month, which can vary depending on how much a claimant earns and their living arrangements. It is paid once a month in order to (according to the government) prepare claimants for the world of work where 75 percent of employees are paid monthly.

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Universal Credit is usually paid directly to the claimants but in some instances, alternative payment arrangements (APA) can be set up which can alter who the money goes to and how often it comes through.

APA is generally considered for claimants who cannot manage their single monthly payments effectively.

As a result of this, there is likely to be a risk of financial harm to the claimant and/or their family.

APA can be considered at any point during a Universal Credit claim and it may be identified by a work coach, claimant or landlord.

APA itself can come through in many forms with the following being available to help claimants who need additional support:

  • paying housing costs of Universal Credit as a Managed Payment (MP) direct to the landlord
  • more frequent than monthly payments
  • split payment of an award between partners

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The support can be claimed by claimants who are in particularly unfortunate circumstances.

Citizens Advice detailed that a person may be able to receive APA if they:

  • are in debt or rent arrears
  • have a disability – including a mental health condition
  • are homeless or are at risk of losing their home
  • have experienced domestic violence
  • have a learning difficulty, like problems with reading or writing
  • are in temporary or supported accommodation
  • are 16 or 17 or leaving care
  • have an addiction to drugs, alcohol or gambling

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To be eligible for Universal Credit at all a person must be on a particularly low income or out of work entirely.

On top of this they must also be aged between 18 and state pension age.

If a claimant has between £6,000 and £16,000 in savings they’ll be able to claim Universal Credit but their payments will be reduced.

Any claimant who has more than £16,000 in savings (which can be split between partners) will not be eligible.

Universal Credit payments are based on the claimant’s circumstances but there are standard allowances in place which everyone will receive as a minimum.

A single claimant aged under 25 will get a monthly standard allowance of £342.72.

Single claimants over 25 will get £409.89.

If a claimant is in a couple and both are under 25, the claimant will receive £488.59 (for both).

This rises to £594.04 for a claimant in a couple and either of them are 25 or over.

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